The ill thought out Budget and failure to consult with fellow.

Coalition partners may see this Government not run a full term.

Following the Fianna Fail councillor meetings last week, the Greens

are now going the same route. The Greens found it a hard sell for the party hierarchy to go into Government with Fianna Fail, now they are going to get more criticism from grass roots membership.

The Budget did not have many green elements to it. Apart from the employer incentive to provide bicycles to employees there was very little else.

Insulating houses and giving a grant for same would have been a far better incentive for all than further measures for the first time buyers that may only add to house prices.

The Green Party should be negotiating more positive measures for the environment. This could be included in the Finance Bill. If they are not getting much input into Budget formation and policy making for Government, why be there?

The Green Ministers seem to be doing little on energy at present in terms of encouraging more use of sustainable energy for business. Now more than ever people need incentives. Householders could be encouraged more to have investments in new energy methods.

In the coming weeks the Greens will come under more pressure and may have to consider leaving Government.

The Sunday paper opinion poll shows an alternative Government of Fine Gael and Labour almost having the numbers. Could there be a new Government without an election?

This is very much like the GUBU Government of 1982 under Charles Haughey when a minority Fianna Fail Government was hit with a number of problems and eventually collapsed.

The public finances were is disarray and the previous Government under Dr Garret Fitzgerald had failed to pass a budget under Finance Minister John Bruton, brother of Richard Bruton, the current Finance Spokesman of Fine Gael.

An alternative government of Fine Gael and Labour would be faced with the same problems, Fine Gael want to cut public service jobs and Labour will want to raise taxes to reduce the deficit. They will be hard to reconcile in a programme for Government.

It really looks like we are in a period of instability, with teachers marching against cuts and pensioner power being exhibited in church meetings. It seems an extraordinary time after a great boom.


During the boom public service workers and teachers demanded a ten per cent extra payment for bench marking. They eventually got it, when tax revenues were buoyant.


If that 10 per cent was not paid, we probably would not have a deficit and there would be no need for income levies or cut backs on pensioner medical card entitlements.

We know it is hard to reverse payments, but if people thought about that a little more, we can see why the public finances are in bad order as too many

people were hired in the boom years and payments were given out in some cases fairly easily.

The blame game is on like in the eighties, with no solution in sight. It is not pleasant to watch and listen to. Vision and leadership are needed and there is not much of that around at present.

Can Charlie Mc Creevy be enticed back from Brussels and come up with some solutions? Or is the finance job too much to handle at present?